Contrary to the many previous findings that have suggested a link between consumption of soy and decreased severity of asthma, a recent study shows that soy supplements do not improve lung function in asthmatics.
The study paper also highlights the importance of focusing on complete well-being so as to manage the disease instead of using individual strategies such as increasing the consumption of soy. The first author of the study, Lewis Smith, professor of medicine at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine said “You are what you eat, but that's a whole constellation of foods, not just a single food or a single component of a food”.
Smith added that instead of focusing on the supplements, one should take a more holistic approach. The study had looked at effects of soy in 386 adults and children aged 12 and older with asthma that is poorly controlled. All the participants took medicine to treat asthma but none of them consumed soy.
In the randomised study, at least half of the participants who took a soy isflavone supplement two times every day for over 6 months and the other half took a placebo.
Smith also said that he found that even though the supplement increased blood levels of key soy isoflavone genistein, it did not improve lung function, symptoms of methods of inflammation in the people. The study puts light on the importance of performing well-designed, placebo-controlled studies when associations have been reported between disease outcomes as well as specific nutrients.
The study had appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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